So, what is Paczki and why on Fat Tuesday?
I rarely share my recipes but when I was a little girl living in Detroit folks from all over the city and surrounding suburbs would rush to Hamtramck for paczki.
The lines would start as early as 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The last day of feasting before Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. The date can vary from as early as February 3rd to as late as March 9th.
Paczki is for Everyone
It didn’t matter back in the day if you weren’t Polish or Catholic. The plump fruit filled pillowy fried dough was a delicacy everyone could enjoy.
The filling is either jam or jelly, they are sometimes glazed or sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The difference between a paczki and a regular donut lies in the way the dough is prepared. Paczki is made with a very rich, sweet yeast dough consisting of eggs, butter and milk; even a jigger of rum. If made properly they are unforgettable.
Why Fat Tuesday you ask? Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or as my grandmother would say, Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want. The next day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians.
I first saw the recipe below in The Detroit News in 1988 and I had to try them. This is the only recipe I will ever make. If you have another recipe, please post it here. We’d love to hear from you. Any cottage food operators making paczki this week?
If you’re also interested in making my authentic Louisiana Gumbo, here’s the link to my video and recipe. I using my grandmother’s 100-year-old Dutch oven and my 40-year-old recipe. Talk about good!
Happy Mardi Gras to all and Laissez les bons temps rouler! You know, let the good times roll!